|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-8 Hezekiah was a true son of David. Some others did that which was right, but not like David. Let us not suppose that when times and men are bad, they must needs grow worse and worse; that does not follow: after many bad kings, God raised one up like David himself. The brazen serpent had been carefully preserved, as a memorial of God's goodness to their fathers in the wilderness; but it was idle and wicked to burn incense to it. All helps to devotion, not warranted by the word of God, interrupt the exercise of faith; they always lead to superstition and other dangerous evils. Human nature perverts every thing of this kind. True faith needs not such aids; the word of God, daily thought upon and prayed over, is all the outward help we need.
Verse 2. - Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign (on the difficulties connected with this statement, and the best mode of meeting them, see the comment upon 2 Kings 16:1); and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. So Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 10:3. § 1), and the author of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 29:1). He reigned fourteen years before his severe illness, and fifteen afterwards. His mother's name also was Abi. Abi, "my father," is scarcely a possible name. We must, therefore, correct Kings by Chronicles, and regard her true name as Abijah, which menus "Jehovah is my father" (compare "Abiel"). The daughter of Zachariah. Perhaps the Zechariah of Isaiah 8:2.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign,.... Now as Ahaz his father began to reign at twenty, and reigned sixteen, he must die at thirty six; so that this son of his must be born to him when at eleven years of age, for only so many years there be between twenty five and thirty six, which may seem wonderful; but, as Grotius observes, Hezekiah had now entered into the twenty fifth year, and he might be just turned of twenty four, and so his father might be twelve years of age at his birth: besides, as it is usual for the divine historian to take away or add the incomplete years of kings, Ahaz might be near twenty one when he began to reign, and might reign almost seventeen, which makes the age of Ahaz to be about thirty eight; and Hezekiah being but little more than twenty four, at his death there were thirteen or near fourteen years difference in their age, and which was an age that need not be thought incredible for begetting of children. Bochart (f) and others (g) have given many instances of children begotten by persons under that age, even at ten years of age (h): four years after his birth, the famous city of Rome began to be founded (i), A. M. 3256, and before Christ 748, as commonly received, though it is highly probable it was of a more early date; according to Dionysius Halicarnassensis, it was founded in the first year of the seventh Olympaid, in the times of Ahaz, A. M. 3118 (k):
and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem; so that he reigned twenty three years or more after the captivity of the ten tribes:
his mother's name also was Abi the daughter of Zachariah; perhaps the daughter of the same that was taken by Isaiah for a witness, Isaiah 8:3 who very probably was a very good woman, and took care to give her son a religious education, though he had so wicked a father.
(f) Ep. Carbonell. tom. 1. oper. p. 920. (g) Vid. Hieronymi Opera, tam. 3. Ep. Vital. fol. 25. C. (h) T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 44. 1.((i) Usser. Annal. p. 86, 87. (k) Vid. Breithaupt. Not. in Hist. Gorion. Heb. l. 5. c. 1.
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